Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast. (Wikipedia)
Why is it when we hear the word Patience, we cringe. We immediately think that we will be swamped with unpleasant circumstances to test our patience even more. "The state of endurance under difficult circumstances". State of endurance. How does one endure? What tools do we equip ourselves so that we can endure? And what if the difficult circumstances...are long term difficulties? How do we endure long term?
Enduring any difficulty, no matter how long it lasts, is best done with the proper tools. Equipping ourselves is vital to any challenge we face. We don't tackle household chores without the right tools, why would we approach our lives any differently? Yet, for some reason, our mindset when it comes to endurance and patience is "I can do it myself with no help". And that is why we fail. We need to equip ourselves with the proper tools.
The first tool to endure any situation is a relationship with God. When God is your Father, you have the greatest resource ever! He is the basis for all the other tools.
Next, you need to look a that the situation as short term. Look at how it affects you now....right now and make adjustments. The restrictions we put on ourselves, are changeable! Remember, you are looking at the SHORT term. Since, situations change, you can't see beyond this moment. (And God supplies grace for the right now! His mercies are new EACH morning for a reason!)
Ask for help! Yes, it's okay to ask for help!! For some reason we think if we ENDURE ALONE, we become "Super person". But the truth is enduring alone... usually makes enduring longer and we lose our patience quicker. Now the help you get can't change your situation, but rather can provide support and encouragement, both needed to endure.
Next, evaluate the circumstance. How did you end up in this predicament? Often, we create the very circumstances in which we find ourselves. Yes, we create the very difficulty we are now enduring! Sometimes, when you find out how you got into this position, it shows you the way out.
Now, look at what you can learn from this circumstance. This is the one step we often skip. Each time we need patience or to endure a situation... we can learn about ourselves. We learn we are stronger than we thought. We learn the areas which need work. We also learn reliance upon God.
Patience doesn't need to bring a since of dread. If we take time to learn from the situation, we become stronger and better people. Now, I know that some situations continue longer than you ever thought! Believe me, I understand LONG TERM ENDURANCE. But you want to know a secret? I don't have to have the patience or endurance long term! What do I mean..I take each day at a time. Some days I take it moment by moment.
Patience helps make any day more positive. The more slack I allow those around me, the better my day. When I lose my patience, it makes me and my day miserable, not to mention those around me. To Create a positive day, patience is just one of the tools needed.